help choosing yellow paint for kitchen walls

luckyjMarch 27, 2008

Help! If you have a yellow kitchen, what color did you use? The walls were painted today in BM's Barley color and I'm feeling like it's looking too "lemony" for what I had in mind. I'm going to have creamy white cabs on perimeter with medium stained cherry island and soapstone counters. So I wanted a yellow that would be warm yet cheery yet not too gold as to make the creamy part of the white cabinets look yellow or dingy.

I hate making such a big change on my GC when the cabs were scheduled to start going in on Friday, but I can't be feeling like the color is off every time I go in the room. However, I'm stressed about making a quick decision about a color change and then not liking the new one either.


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Yellows are very tricky. I've got two different ones and neither turned out exactly the way that I wanted.

This is Behr's Capri Cream:

The border that you see is Behr's Popped Corn (white). Turned out a little more pale than I would have liked but OK.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:49AM
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Our kitchen is a pale olive with Pittsburgh Pralines and Cream trim. I used Pittsburgh Shellflower with the same trim in a bedroom. A friend just combined Shellflower with a pumpkiny color above and below a chair rail in her kitchen/dining area. It's soft, yellow but leans toward orange not green. My paint store will mix any color so when I found the olive in a different brand, they just mixed something to match. If you can find a yellow you like even if it's not in the paint line, your store might be able to match it. My monitor colors must be off because shellflower looks pinky when I tried to find a link. One time I used primary yellow in a small kitchen. It was really too bright but it was 1974.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Ours is Sherwin Williams Hubbard Squash-I love this color and it took me several tries to find the right one. I have white cabinets and santa cecilia gold granite with it....

Here is a link that might be useful: Hubbard Squash

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Ours is Eddie Bauer (through Lowe's) Dahlia. Looks like a wonderful sunshine with our praline maple cabs, mahogany granite, and terra cotta backsplash.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:30AM
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I just had my walls painted in SW Muslin. It is a very pale yellow. I thought it was a real neutral yellowy off white. But once it went up, I saw it had a greenish cast, too. Sigh. It's not what I want. My almond colored cabinets look brown and dingy next to it. I guess I'm chiming in here because I'm glad to know others have had the same experience of hating the paint once it's up. By the way, I did buy numerous sample pots and did experiment with large swatches on the walls. It just always looks so different once the room is done. I'm doing my best to ignore it, because I don't want to spend the $$$ to repaint right now, but I'm expecting I'll change it next year.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:41AM
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I saw the Eddie Bauer paints Cloth EB11-4 and Stem green EB22-4 featured in a Lowes ad. I liked the way the rooms looked in the ad, so I picked up some samples.

Cloth looks off white on the sample but goes on a bright, happy cream. I'm planning to use it in my bedroom. I'm not sure it would be enough of a contrast with your cabinets but it looks really pretty with white trim.

Stem green is a pretty, fresh green that pairs well with Cloth.

If you haven't done so already, you may want to check out the paint selection at Lowe's. I like the variety.

Also, check out the decorating forum. The rooms there are just beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:40AM
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our light gold/yellow kitchen is behr brand "bagel". i think it may be a darker relative of "capri cream" but i can't remember. it looks nothing like a bagel...more yellow than brown. we would have preferred a terra cotta color, but couldn't find one light enough that we liked. so we went from oranges toward yellow. i have never before had a yellow room, but i like this one.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:08AM
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We had SW mix a color in between "Napery" and "Compatible Cream" and then did our trim in "Dover White". All are on the same color strip. We love the color -- yellow with a bit of gold to it and it goes well with our cabinets (which are almost the color of "Napery").

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:30AM
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I'm interested in this thread. We're planning a warm gold colour to go with black perimeter cabs and wood tops and a red island with soapstone top.

Yellows are so finicky. I think you almost need to see a photo with the colour used with the same colours you have planned for cabinets etc or it won't work for you.

There's actually a kitchen I've seen on here several times that was part of my inspiration but no amount of searching could help me find it. If anyone else remembers the yellow walled kitchen with a brinck or stone hearth around the stove top let me know.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:33PM
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We too have cream colored cabinets (BM Navajo White), and I wanted a warm yellow that wouldn't make them look dingy. We went with BM Dunmore Cream, and I am very happy. It's just a beautiful color, independent of the fact that it goes well with the cabs. My MIL took one look and went out and painted her kitchen the same color... she has wood (stained maple) cabs and in her kitchen the Dunmore Cream has the faintest hint of olive or khaki in some light, so it looks a little different, but beautiful. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:51PM
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I used a couple different yellows in my house.

My kitchen (west-facing) is painted BM Safari from the Aura line.

Same kitchen corner at different time of day (without cabinets, obviously !)

And my living room (east-facing) is BM Honeymoon, also from the Aura line.

Ceilings are Mascarpone in both cases. I also used Subtle in a bedroom, but don't seem to have a photo of it ... it's a couple shades lighter than Safari.

I like them both. The Honeymoon is richer and deeper, and I am a little sad that I chickened out and went for a paler shade in the kitchen. Them's the breaks, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:58PM
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Yellows can be difficult to choose, because a lot depends on your lighting and furnishings. That said, Barley is really a gorgeous color. Sometimes, when a color first goes up and the rest of the elements are not yet in the room, the color doesn't look quite right and/or it takes a while to adjust to the new color. However, once everything goes in, i.e., the cabs, countertops, etc., it will probably look fabulous. I love yellow walls with white or cherry cabs and black countertops - it's a classic, warm look. I'm betting it will all look lovely together.

However, if you are looking for a different yellow with a little less lemony tone, try Desert Tan or Waterbury Cream. If you are looking to go lighter, try Powell Buff or Pittsfield Buff. If you are looking to go deeper and more "tan-gold", try Wilmington Tan.

Here is a link that might be useful: BenMo's Personal Color Viewer

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:22PM
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amsunshine had perfect advice! Go to the home decorating gallery and you can see those colors. Powell Buff is just a smidgen more beige than Pittsfield. Wilmington Tan is darker. Waterbury Cream is beautiful but changes more in different light IMO.

The only one I haven't tried is the Desert Tan but think that may be the one closest to SW Blonde? Lots of times when someone says they want yellow and pick from the more colorful paint strips, they really are looking for a warm neutral(that comes from my experiences :)).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:48PM
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My, such beautiful yellows out there! Casey3, maybe you need to open your own color line because your custom mix look fabulous in your kitchen. And flatcoat, you're hired!--I love how those colors work in your rooms.

So, I dashed off to the SW store this morning before my GC showed up (with the baby still in her jammies!) and grabbed all of the yellow swatches. Yellow really is tricky: it can be too lemony, too green, too orange, too brown, too peach. Yikes! And my neighbor has one of those little suitcases full of BM color palettes, has agreed to come by with it so that I can evaluate some of the suggestions that you've all made here. I'm feeling so much better already. Many thanks. And ajpl, when I find something I'll let you know just so that you can have one more suggestion (or recommendation for previously mentioned color) to add to your own "perfect yellow" search.

I wasn't prepared for how colors can change so dramatically depending on light and surroundings. I do love BM Barley as a color on it's own, it just wasn't working for what I had in mind with this space. Has anyone had success finding a color for a specific space from the BenMo Personal color viewer that amsunshine linked to?

Judithn, I'm so sorry about your paint color not being right also....and especially after all the samples and swatches, etc. This is what I'm feeling like has happened to me. I hope that you can change yours to something that makes you happy soon enough!

busymom, amsunshine, and parma42, thanks for the suggestion of checking out the decorating forum. I forget there are other places than this kitchen forum somtimes! Doesn't everyone else live here too?!

Thanks again all!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 3:06PM
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We had used 2 Sherwin Williams colors in our Dining Room - Anjou Pear for the bottom of the walls and Jersey Cream for the top of the walls. And the ceilings in this room are Crisp Linen. All from the same Sherwin Williams color card (55).

In the kitchen the cabinets are nearly the Crisp Linen (cream) color of the ceiling - so we painted the walls Jersey Cream.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 3:18PM
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When your neighbor brings by the BM samples, check out Philadelphia Cream. A lady at the BM store suggested it to me a while back. Pretty.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 3:31PM
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luckyj: your best bet is to get sample jars of a couple of colors you think might work and paint a large swatch (I use posterboards) with the color see how the color will work in your room. You may not have time for that at this point, which I why I linked to the color viewer. The color viewer can be helpful when you are searching for different tones, but can never be a substitute for a sample on your own wall, unfortunately. Since you are crunched for time, I recommend that you try and visualize what it is you want that is different than the Barley you have now. Do you want more pink undertones? or green? And make sure you have your cabinet samples with you to see how each color looks with you cabinet color. It's amazing how a color can look different when you put your cabinets up b/c of how the colors play off of each other. Good luck!

Also, your friend may have only one B.M. fandeck and there are different ones for different groups. There's the classic colors fandeck and the color preview fandeck, for example. So check the color viewer for colors she may not have. (If she has both -- fantastic!)

And remember -- it's only paint! It's easily changed. But you already have a beautiful color on the walls, so you can't lose!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 3:44PM
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This is a valspar product, called Deep Cowslip 4 (there are several levels of cowslip). It's my "neutral" color in the house. Here it's next to medium tone wood:

This is a mid construction shot but you can see it with deeper toned wood as well.

I picked the color because it matched the color of a lion's mane....kind of a yellow with a tan undertone.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:14PM
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We have Desert Tan in our basement playroom and we love it! It really does read more gold, rather and tan or yellow. Get lots of compliments on it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:39PM
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We used Bm concord ivory in the kitchen and barly in the great room that opens up to the kitchen. We have cherry perimeter and cream for the island and love it. The barly is beautiful in our home. The concord ivory in our home is more bold, little darker yellow gold in our home compared to the barly. I'd give it a few days before you change your mind. It is an awesome color, but it does look different in light and at night etc. I actually like it better when it is dark outside. Also, speaking from experience it is very hard to get the total "look" until the cabinets are installed. I know you want to paint all before the cabinets to make it easier. But, I was unsure until the cabinets were in place. Also, out kitchn desk is done in cream and against the concord ivory wall and I really like the cream with it too. Our cream was custom done and glazed, but they "copied" kraftmaid's vanilla bean glaze. Hope you get that perfect color:)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:40PM
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Ours is a SW paint called "Optimistic Yellow." Our cabinets are cream with a golden glaze and the countertops are a rather dark denim-ish solid surface. The room gets lots of light -- from the large window, but also from a wall of windows in the ajoining dining room, facing east with light bouncing off the lake. I love it!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 4:51PM
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We have BM "Golden Tan" which is probably too gold for you...I wanted to mention, though, that this week we changed all of our can lights to flourescent and it definitely gave my beautiful gold walls a pukey greenish tint (the lights in the vent hood do the same, but that area will be backsplashed at some point). So my point is to make sure you see your yellow with the type of lighting you are going to use.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Yellow is tricky. I love yellow walls but in three attempts I have never gotten it right. It usually comes out more yellow then expected.

Once I painted my entire living room, den, entry, and hall yellow. I hated it. It had a strange green undertone. I lived with it 2 months and repainted everything. It might only be paint but it took me more then a whole day to repaint it.

Ellen Kennon has a beautiful color called Honeysuckle that is one of the prettest yellows I have seen.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:36PM
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have you tried Sherwin William's Ivorie? If my camera was charged, I would take a picture of Ivorie(or Ivory - I forgot how they spell it), but of course the camera is out of commission.

Wish you well in your search.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 6:24PM
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The yellow I have is lyndhurst estate cream from valspar (Lowe's) and is just my all time favorite neutral yellow. I posted pics of it with white shutters, it makes the white stand out. I had to post the one of my cat. The room was filled with cabinets my dh was building sooo, the cabinets are now in our new kitchen. We are now putting in new flooring in the living area, a medium brown tone and it looks great with the wall colors.

We painted the kitchen a cowslip and it is a great yellow, however, we could not find a way to make a separation from the kitchen from the living area as seen in one pic with the corner walls with two different shades. It bothered dh, so we repainted the kitchen in the lyndhurst. ONce the dust settles, I hope to update pictures. The kitchen is almost done except for the backsplash and window trim. It looks wonderful in person. The pics don't justify it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:23PM
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I use Eddie Bauer "slice" with "cloth" for the upper trim and ceiling.
I like saturated colors, and the yellow is a turn of the century ochre-based color that's not pukey.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Wow. There are so many beautiful yellows on display out there. Now I'm feeling like it's hard to choose just one.

amsunshine, really good advice. My neighbor has the BM classic colors deck. I'm definitely interested in a yellow with more browns in it than the Barley has, but I can't help but live with it for a few days, so we'll see if it grows on me. And I'll get out a cabinet or two to put into room to see how everything plays off of eachother

Thanks again everybody!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Another vote for B.Moore's Philadelphia Cream; it is restful and sunny at the same time !

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 8:51PM
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Just a note--the BM fandecks are only about $15 I think and are REALLY useful. Also REALLY fun toys...they sell tehm at the paint store. You can just buy don't have to be licensed or anything!! :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Have you seen the yellow/gold post on the decorating gallery?


Here is a link that might be useful: yellow & golds

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:24PM
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I went with Restoration Hardware's "Butter" . I actually had SW color match it, as it is obviously much easier than to have all that paint shipped

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 2:08AM
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True Value's 'Haystack'. Everyone loves it with my white trim and cabs.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 2:23AM
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Ours is called "classic silk" by Flexbon. Like calisamcn, we like it so much we painted pretty much the whole house in it. It is soft and soothing and looks different with different lighting. However, when we were first using soft white compact flourescents in the can lights the lighting made the wall color look too yellow and also yellowed out our cabinets. We changed to "bright white" compact flourescents and what a big difference!

Here is a link that might be useful: Classic silk in our kitchen

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 10:32AM
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I used Rich Cream by Benjamin Moore. I wish I had more contrast with my cabinets and may change at some time... I like the color, just need more contrast.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen with BM Rich Cream.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 11:00AM
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I love Rich cream you can go to and they will modify it darker for you in a sample sized can to test it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Benjamin Moore rich Cream

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 3:13PM
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I actually have BM Barley in my kitchen and the family room which it opens out to. We love it. We do not find it lemony at all. Right now you are seeing so much color, but once you have the cabinets and counter in the overall color will look different to you. Of course, you have to get what you like and if the Barley isn't right for you then you'll have to change it. Is it possible to wait and make a final decision after the cabinets go in?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 6:02PM
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Really wishing you luck. I tried a dozen times to get the right yellow. I finally gave up and went with a "cafe" color. I had some of the same basic elements you have and I just could not get it right. It seems yellow is especially difficult.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 6:57PM
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More gold than yellow, but very warm:

BM Straw in Kitchen
BM Filtered Sunlight in family room (lighter)
BM Vanilla Ice Cream for ceiling and trim

My cabinets are cherry w/pecan finish, dark granite.

Now I'm working on some type of red accent for my dining room!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 7:12PM
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I really need help in choosing a yellow, Can someone post Classic Silk by flexbon for me?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 12:33PM
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We also have BM Straw in our kitchen and BM Filtered sunlight in the foyer and hall leading to the kitchen. Our trim is BM Mayonnaise.

rowen_realtor - We have BM Mexicana in our living room...goes weil with our rosewood table and mahagony? piano as well as the yellows in the hall and ktichen.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:31PM
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We used Pittsburgh Grand Distinctions - Dusty Yellow. We bought several sample cans to get just the right color. It is a warm yellow.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 3:33PM
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